Score: 95 Country: Chile Region: Maipo Issue: May 31, 2014 Refined and elegant, with silky tannins behind the mineral, macerated cherry and damson plum flavors. Quite creamy, revealing hints of paprika and hoisin sauce. The long, lush finish is filled with notes of cocoa powder and dust. Drink now through 2020. 10,100 cases made. KM Wine Advocate #213 Jun 2014 Luis Gutierrez 93 The 2010 Don Melchor (a homage to Don Melchor Concha y Toro who created Concha y Toro in 1883) is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc from Alto Maipo, the best terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile. 2010 was a cool vintage, balanced and fresh. It has aromas of blood and fresh meat, it feels subtle, with signs of youth in the shape of some lactic hints with good freshness, notes of black and red berries, developing some aromas of graphite and cold bonfire with time in the glass. The wine fills your mouth with its sophisticated, fine-grained tannins and has good freshness and length. The wine is quite drinkable now, but if you wait a little, the lactic touch should get more integrated and will age for a long time. I tasted 1993 and 1996 and both are drinking perfectly now: this wine has a track record. The 2010 vintage was launched in March-April 2014. Drink 2015-2025. As you can probably guess, I didnt taste all these Concha y Toro wines in five minutes. The process involved meeting and tasting with the three main winemakers from the huge winery the second largest in the world, I believe. I sat down in Madrid with Enrique Tirado, who is in charge Don Melchor and Gravas del Maipoas as well as the Eolo from Trivento, their Argentinean winery. Another day, I tasted Marques de Casas Concha and the separate winery Maycas de Limari with Marcelo Papa. I visited their headquarters in Maipo where Ignacio Recabarren shared his work on the Trio, Amelia, Terrunyo and Carmin de Peumo line. In addition, they sent me more samples to taste through the trade organization Wines of Chile. Phew! The three winemakers have different personalities, which are transmitted to the wines; Marcelo Papa has a Burgundian concept of the wines, harvesting a little earlier, using less new oak, experimenting with foudres, not always barriques, and favoring cool climate regions. Concha y Toro has a number of wineries and produces a wide range of wines throughout Chile in all prices ranges. Enrique Tirado, a nice, quiet, serious guy, has been in charge of Don Melchor since 2007. He also runs Gravas de Maipo and oversees the Eolo wines from the Trivento winery in Mendoza, Argentina. Puente Alto is a small appellation within Maipo with about 400 hectares of vineyards, and the Don Melchor vineyards are 126 hectares (90% Cabernet Sauvignon). From these vineyards, they produce about 170,000 bottles of a truly iconic Chilean wine from the alluvial soils of the Andes with lots of rocks, in the third terrace from the Maipo river. This is the best terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile (Casa Real, Domus Aurea, Don Melchor, and more). Bordeaux winemakers Jacques and Eric Boissenot have been consultants for Don Melchor since the beginning. Since 1999, Don Melchor has had between 2% and 10% Cabernet Franc (in 2013 it will have 10%, the maximum). Vineyards are at 650 meters altitude. The wine is aged in French oak for around 14 months and the pH is approximately 3.6 to 3.7. I had the chance to do a vertical tasting of Don Melchor and see how the wine has evolved through time. Nowadays its less balsamic and less minty, the wood increasing until 2001 and then decreasing. Marcelo Papa is responsible for the Marques de Casa Concha label (with wines from different regions) as well as the Maycas de Limari (a completely separate and independent winery in the Limari Valley that is listed separately). Finally, Ignacio Recabarren, is the winemaker responsible for the rest of the lines for a company, which is the second largest wine producer in the world after Gallo. A
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